Dragon’s Den star to share secrets of success

Dragon’s Den star to share secrets of success

Former Dragon’s Den panellist Rachel Elnaugh will share the secrets of her business success with an audience in Aberdeen tomorrow evening (Tuesday March 27).

Ms Elnaugh – who shot to fame as one of the original ‘dragons’ in the popular BBC series – will give a free public talk at the University of Aberdeen on Tuesday April 27.

She will recount her entrepreneurial journey and provide pointers for business start up and development at the event, which takes place at the institution’s King’s College Conference Centre, beginning at 7pm.

There will be an opportunity for questions from the audience following Ms Elnaugh’s talk.

Acknowledged as one of the UK’s highest profile female entrepreneurs, Ms Elnaugh’s first step on the career ladder was as an office junior.

In 1989 at the age of 24, she struck gold with her first business idea – Red Letter Days – a company which offers experiences as gifts.

The organisation – which Ms Elnaugh started on a shoestring budget from her own front room - went on to generate over £100million in turnover in the 16 years that she ran it, and in doing so pioneered the UK’s £250 million experiences sector.

Ms Elnaugh is an Entrepreneur in Residence at the British Library Business & IP Centre, and an Ambassador for the Prince’s Trust.

Her main focus now is the small business sector and working to inspire entrepreneurs to achieve personal success.

Ms Elnaugh was invited to speak by student Kilian Dorado, who is one of three Scottish Institute for Enterprise interns at the University.

Kilian – who is studying for a PhD in Engineering at the institution said: “We are delighted that Ms Elnaugh has happily agreed to come and share her entrepreneurial experience with students.”

Professor Dominic Houlihan, Vice Principal for Research and Commercialisation at the University of Aberdeen said: “The University of Aberdeen is strongly committed to encouraging entrepreneurship amongst both our staff and students.  It is just one of the attributes our new curriculum aims to develop in our graduates.

“The success we have had in commercialising our research is testament to this – we currently have 23 companies which have spun out of innovative ideas developed at the University.

“Whilst our annual Blue Skies Thinking Business Ideas Competition is just one of the ways we encourage students to showcase their innovative business thinking.

“We are delighted to host Ms Elnaugh and provide the opportunity for her to share her business success story and tips for entrepreneurship with an audience at the institution.”

Janice Montgomery from the University of Aberdeen’s Career Service added: “Ms Elnaugh’s talk is sure to provide inspiration, motivational advice and encouragement for anyone with an entrepreneurial spirit who is perhaps nurturing their own business idea. Business start up is a viable option for our students throughout their time at University as well as after graduation and we are keen to encourage and support students in this”

Ms Elnaugh’s talk will take place in the King’s College Conference Centre on Tuesday April 27 at 7pm.

The talk is free to attend but those planning to attend must register in advance at: http://doiop.com/elnaugh

The event has been organised by the University’s Scottish Institute for Enterprise interns – Killian, Stephen White and Kevin Laing in conjunction with the institution’s Careers Service and Research and Innovation department.